Noel McGrath. INPHO/Cathal Noonan
Semi Finals

Noel McGrath stars as Loughmore set up Tipp football final with Aherlow

It’ll be Loughmore-Castleiney against Aherlow Gaels in the county senior football final on November 4th.

Loughmore-Castleiney 0-8
Clonmel Commercials 0-7

LOUGHMORE-Castleiney are just an hour away from an historic double after Noel McGrath’s sensational performance helped to knock out holders Clonmel Commercials in this afternoon’s Clean Ireland Recycling Tipperary SFC semi-final at Leahy Park, Cashel.

McGrath was man of the match in last Sunday’s hurling decider against Nenagh Éire Óg and he showed how adept he is with the big ball as Loughmore progressed to a first football decider since 2010.

Three years ago, Loughmore lost out to Aherlow in the football final and the scene is set for a rematch against Aherlow Gaels, now operating as an amalgamation of the Aherlow and Lattin-Cullen clubs.

After a low scoring first half, Loughmore led by 0-3 to 0-1 but Commercials had the breeze in the second half and were expected to push on.

They drew level when Michael Quinlivan and Ian Barnes landed early frees in the second half but cousins Noel and Liam McGrath responded for Loughmore with points to open up a 0-5 to 0-3 lead.

Back came Commercials as Loughmore goalkeeper Dominic Brennan brilliantly tipped Michael Quinlivan’s rasping drive over the bar, before Colman Kennedy fired over a superb equaliser.

But in a game that saw the McGrath clan register all of Loughmore’s scores, John, Liam (free) and Noel, with a quite outrageous long-range pont, established a 0-8 to 0-5 lead.

Alan Lonergan and Ian Barnes cut the deficit back to just a single point with time running out but Loughmore held out and this wonderful dual club is now targeting a first county SFC success since 2004.

Scorers for Loughmore-Castleiney: Liam McGrath 0-4f, Noel McGrath 0-2, John McGrath & Aidan McGrath 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clonmel Commercials: Ian Barnes 0-2f, Michael Quinlivan 0-2 (1f), Colman Kennedy, Jason Lonergan & Alan Lonergan (f), 0-1 each.

Loughmore-Castleiney: Dominic Brennan; Lorcan Egan, John Meagher, Tommy Long; Tom King, Ciaran McGrath, John Ryan; Noel McGrath, David Kennedy; John McGrath, Aidan McGrath, Cian Hennessy; Liam McGrath, Micheál Webster, Evan Sweeney.

Subs: Joseph Hennessy for Aidan McGrath (inj, 8), Derek Bourke for Cian Hennessy (52).

Clonmel Commercials: Johnny O’Mahony; Fergal Condon, Donal Lynch, Kevin Fahey; Jamie Peters, Seamus Kennedy, Luke Moore; Ian Fahey, Kevin Harney; Conor McCullagh, Colman Kennedy, Aldo Matassa; Ian Barnes, Michael Quinlivan, Jason Lonergan.

Subs: Padraig Looram for Aldo Matassa (40), Danny Madigan for Luke Moore (45), Alan Lonergan for McCullagh (57).

Referee: Keith O’Brien (Kilsheelan-Kilcash).


Aherlow Gaels Barry Grogan.
Pic: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

Aherlow Gaels 0-12
JK Brackens 1-8

Aherlow Gaels had to work hard for a 0-12 to 1-8 victory against dogged JK Brackens in the first game of a well-attended double-header in Cashel today to qualify for the final on

County star Barry Grogan was the star of the show for Aherlow as he scored the last three points of the game, including a free deep in stoppage time, to complete a spirited fightback as his side came from two points down to win by one.

Both sides finished a hard-hitting encounter with 14 players as Aherlow lost Seamus Grogan to a second yellow card in the 41st minute, with JK Brackens player Brendan Guidera following suit seven minutes later.

At half-time, Brackens had come from five points down (0-2 to 0-7) to trail by just a point, 1-3 to 0-7.

Cathal Scully palmed home a crucial goal two minutes before the break and Brackens sensed a major upset as they moved 1-8 to 0-9 approaching the finish.

But wind-assisted Aherlow dug in and Grogan showed true class to edge them over the line with that late flurry of scores taking his individual tally to 0-7.

Scorers for Aherlow Gaels: Barry Grogan 0-7 (3f), Cathal Dillon 0-2, Bernard O’Brien 0-2 (1f), Thomas Fahy 0-1.

Scorers for JK Brackens: Cathal Scully 1-0, Shane Scully 0-3, Lorcan Egan 0-2 (1f), Dean McEnroe 0-2 (1f), Colin O’Riordan 0-1.

AHERLOW GAELS: Shane Leonard; Mark O’Brien, Shane Russell, Ed O’Meara; Mark Hanley, John Hennessy, Sean Mullins; Cathal Dillon, Thomas Fahy; Barry Grogan, Seamus Grogan, Laurence Coskeran; Sean Cunningham, Bernard O’Brien, Thomas Hanley.

Sub: Mark Russell for Dillon (inj, 42)

JK BRACKENS: Mervyn Bradish; Tommy Kennedy, Lorcan Egan, David Ryan; Alan O’Riordan, John Dunne, Stephen Owens; Brendan Guidera, Colin O’Riordan; Shane Bourke, Cathal Scully, Dean McEnroe; Shane Scully, Sean Patrick Guerin, Padraic Bourke.

Sub: Darren Owens for McEnroe (52).

Referee: Sean Lonergan (Moyle Rovers).

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